The last six months have been very eventful for Maher. They have all been moments a Maherite can be aptly proud of. Some of them will go down as milestones in the evolution of Maher over the years.
The obvious of them is completion of two decades of Maher work. Looking back over the last 20 years of Maher, one cannot but feel at least a slight sense of fulfillment that Maher has honestly served the cause for which it was founded. Starting with 5 to 7 women and children, it has now around 900 children and 300 women in its care. Starting at a small village at Vadhu in Maharashtra, it has now spread its wings not only to a large number of surrounding villages in the state but also to other states of India as far as Kerala and Jharkhand. Maher is very happy that thanks to its generous friends in India and abroad, it has been increasingly able to lend its helping hand to the larger parts of our indigent population. I take this opportunity to thank all our benefactors and friends who have always stood behind the Maher cause. Thank you very much.
Above all I feel very humble before the silent Divine energy that is supporting Maher in its mission.
Right at its inception, Maher decided that it was committed to lend its helping hand to all, irrespective of their caste, creed or faith. The interfaith principle and the sarvadharmasamabhav (respect for all faiths) have always been fundamental to its working. But I am very happy that with the launching of the Maher Interfaith Association on Maher’s 20th anniversary, this principle is now officially a part of the Maher work. The world of today is miserably thirsty for nothing more than love and care between communities. The Interfaith Association hopes it would be able to contribute its mite toward creation of a loving and amiable society. It was a beautiful coincidence that the Maher anniversary fell within the UN World Interfaith Harmony Week (1-7 February).
On its 20th anniversary, Maher received a gift from people who have been working for world harmony and peace since World War II- the United Nations. Maher has been awarded the coveted ‘Consultative Status’ by the United Nations. It has been a matter of great pride and satisfaction for all Maherites that the United Nations took the notice of Maher’s work and selected it to be among the chosen few NGOs from all over the world. We hope Maher would be able benefit in terms of experience and insight from this new status as also help the United Nations and the fellow organizations in our common mission.
Maher came into being as an effort to salvage the life of the destitute and the abandoned. And nothing gladdens its heart more than when it is able to retrieve for the forlorn the lost bond of love and happiness in their life. Weddings at Maher are an institution and a continuing source of delight and joy for every Maherite. We are happy that weddings at Maher reached their 100th mark last month. I believe restoring the marital and the family bond is probably the last stage of rehabilitation. And I am happy that Maher did it for hundred of its women. All kudos to Maher workers!
While Maher was celebrating its 20-year landmark, two of its dedicated souls reached milestones in their life as well. Father D’Sa, Maher mentor and a concerned witness to Maher’s ups and downs over last 20 years completed his 80 years on 1 January 2017. The dedication of Hirabegum Mulla to Maher work is total and complete. She reached her landmark of 50 years on 1 June 1917. Maher cannot thank them enough for what they are for Maher. I wish both of them a healthy and happy life, and an everlasting association with Maher in the years to come.